For the first time in history a rock recording was accepted for a master's thesis in music in place of a written score! This excellent disc starts with "Prelude", a cacaphony of voices (singing & talking) that culminates in a crowd laughling loudly.
This segues into the title track "Freak Show" which is in a Univers Zero mode with multi-layered voices and driving Stravinskian rhythms. Next comes the track "Saviour" which might have been right at home on one of the more advernturous solo discs by Adrian Belew. Then we get "Room With A View" which mellows things out by recalling early Pink Floyd (Fat Old Sun or Cymbaline come to mind!). "Interlude" is an electronic noise fest that clears our palates but doesn't come close to preparing us for the next track. "Fantasy (Touch Heaven)" is a track that King Crimson would be very proud of, sounding like an outtake from Thraak or Construction of Light! The disc closes with "Here With You" a nice pastoral ballad recalling a later Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb). Lyrically, the songs deal with common 'progressive' themes: alienation, personal spirituality, the search for answers. The poetry works quite well with the vocal lines and is used in a way that it becomes part of the whole composition, not the focus. The disc clocks in at just under 30 mins, earning it the classification 'EP', hence the low price. Don't let the brevity put you off, though. This is the best 30 mins of 'rock' music we've heard in many, many months!